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Today on the Kickass Couples Blog, we’re going to talk about non-negotiables. We got some great wisdom from Amber and Denny LoCascio in episode #4 on their two non-negotiable rules.
Number one is they can’t hit. They’re never allowed to put their hands on each other, out of anger, in any way. And the number two rule is there’s not an option of cheating. They implemented these rules because they couldn’t tolerate, or even recover from either of those things.
In addition to their non-negotiables, we were really impressed with them saying that they’re always striving to improve and they have a growth mindset for their relationship. We think that is definitely Kickass! They’re moving forward together and really cognizant of keeping that unified forward movement.
Decision making is an area they are aware of where their unification is extra important. Communicating and working things out so that they are always on the same page, especially where the kids are involved is key. Staying on the same page was learned by seeing their parents model this for them when they were kids, but also by doing love mapping work so that they could really understand where each other were coming from.
Love mapping for Amber and Denny is also essential to navigating their different communication styles. They take the time to work with each other and understand their inner worlds so that when it comes to a decision, they each have a really calm and clear understanding of how the other one is going to come down so they can be unified. This work has made it natural and easy for them to have unification.
They both agree that communication is one of their toughest things that they work on and have room to grow in. Amber needs dialogue and discussion, while Denny is completely the opposite, he just wants the succinct facts. Through love mapping, they’ve learned to each come halfway and meet each other. Amber’s learned how to be less wordy, get to the point quicker and still talk about her feelings. Denny’s learned how to share and communicate on those things as well.
This is a great example of unification and coming together.
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Um, another thing with, with Denny and Amber was, you know, they both came from really different backgrounds. Amber had a very, um, open, loving, affectionate, uh, family and Denny, um, just felt like his dad just sort of really didn’t show up a lot of the time. And he really didn’t have the role model in a father that he needed. But one of the things I really want to point out to our listeners is that, um, his mom made sure he had other great role models and that we don’t always need a father or a mother to provide the mothering or fathering, um, roles in our lives. Other people can fulfill those needs for us.
Oh, absolutely. I can speak from personal experience on that. You need mothering and fathering. You need those male and female leadership roles and positions in our lives, but those qualities can come across from a lot of relationships. I lost my mother when she was 59. And so I was a young guy, uh, you know, out of college and starting to work. And I was certainly, I certainly miss her myself, but I was most concerned. Who’s going to be the grandmother to my kids. Right? I mean, your, your parents have done an amazing job of that, but God, it was amazing to see the provision of all the mothering I needed from other family members from friends. Uh, so many people gave me those qualities and it sounds like Denny’s experience to his grandparents, both his grandfathers and grandmothers acted in those roles for him. So he got what he needed, um, from his other, other relationships. And, um, it’s, I, I can attest that it comes across in a lot of ways and that was a cool way to see it demonstrated.
What about commitment? Um, I know they talked a lot about commitment and showing up for each other. What’d you take away from that?
Well, I think my takeaway from that, I remember Amber saying that commitment to her meant that you show up through thick and thin, you know, whatever in the, whatever the moment is that the, each spouse is working to meet the needs of the other one. And she talked about a couple of examples, right? When on their wedding day, she got pretty ill when they were married, she was in the hospital and, you know, Denny was there by her side through pregnancy. She had some tough bouts in pregnancy and he was there giving her what she needed in the moment and through thick and thin, it’s not just those happy times when it’s easy, but it’s in the challenge is when you have to dig deep and do that. And, uh, Denny’s thoughts on commitment were, were a little different, but something that we relate well to, he said, you know, he said, our commitment is written in the stone.
Non-negotiable divorce was not an option. He said, you know, there’s no way we would even consider that we’re committed to working it out because we’re committed to each other for the longterm. So there was no plan B that that seems to be like a recurring theme and everybody that we’ve talked to and he said, it’s written in stone. There’s, there’s no way that we’re going to do anything. And other than figure out what we can solve. And, you know, I’ve thrown this statistic around a lot, 69% of all issues cannot be solved in a relationship. And that’s a statistic that is backed up with research and data. So there’s only about a third of the things that you’re going to be able to solve. And the rest is really seeking to understand and getting agreement on how you can respect and love somebody else’s viewpoint and move forward. And I think they definitely had that down in commitment in, in what we saw. Yeah.
And I think one other thing that, that I like to point out is back to that, that same thing we hear over and over again, knowing the love languages. That was one thing they said really, um, help their marriage early on knowing what each other’s love language was languages are. And so, um,
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. They were able to figure out it wasn’t a gas. It wasn’t a stab in the dark. They each knew what the other one loved and needed most. And, uh, the made sure. And Danny got me on this habit. I’ve done it with you a few times. He’ll say, uh, to Amber Denny’s part of my accountability group and I’ll say, Hey, Danny, how well are you meeting her, her filling her love tank right now. And he goes, oh man, I’m at an eight and a half right now. Or it might say, oh geez, I’m more like a seven. We haven’t had a date in a while. We need some good one-on-one time. So they’re having those check-ins and finding that out and not just knowing it, but then, okay. Are you executing? And are you delivering on that promise?
And I think one of my favorite things, um, that I heard them say was, um, the dying on the mountain. Do you want to,
I think everybody that all of our listeners, this is a great, this is kind of a safe word or an expression that you can come up with when there’s an issue and they have some disagreement or discussion on one, we’ll say to the other, do you feel like dying on the mountain on this one? In other words, is it so important to you that you’re going to stick to your guns and not bend because you want to die on the mountain to be right? Or do you want to move through it? Let’s talk, set it aside and let’s go forward.
Yeah. I think the question is, how long do you want to be in this uncomfortable space? Right. Is it worth digging in and holding onto it and revisiting it for the next however many days until we work through it? Um, so I, I love that term and it actually adds a little humor, I think, to the moment as well.
Oh, absolutely. And I mean, I think they said two that they’ve asked each other that question and neither one of them has ever said, I’m dying on the mountain for this. Cause they wanted to move on. And, and that’s another key takeaway is it’s a choice, right? Any disagreement between two people when its opinion and no one’s been hurt and no, no, no values have been compromised. You have a choice, you have a choice of how long do you want it to go on? You want to kiss and make up, eat some Crow or admit you’re wrong. Right. Take, accept responsibility, not be a victim and say I was wrong. And I apologize. I asked for your forgiveness and I want to move forward because it’s much more fun living in the sun than in those dark and stormy days like we’re having here today.
Right? Yeah. So I definitely, I don’t think there’s ever been anything I’ve been willing to die on the mountain in our, in our, in our relationship. Yeah, that’s right. So something that we kind of, um, talked about, uh, a neat progression, uh, that, that Amber and Denny shared with us as is what they’d learned from each other. And I think Denny talked about, um, he had only brothers growing up and his only female influence in his life was his mom. And she’s a beautiful, strong, caring woman. That’s been a great grandmother to his kids, but he wasn’t really sure how to be a great father to his daughter. And Amber being one of two girls in her family. She goes, I can tell you because I had it growing up. So Amber really worked with Denny and gave him the ideas and thoughts about what he needed to do to be a great father to their first daughter, which was their first child.
He was willing to accept that influence again, you know, he was willing to say, help me with this. This is where this is an area where I’m weak and I want to learn, I want to, I want to do a B.
Absolutely. So I think that he learned that from her. And Amber said that from Denny, I learned how to be calm and steady because she said that he’s got ice running through his veins cause he’s calm and cool. Doesn’t get ruffled. And when things happen, he calmly deals and moves forward in that great way. And that she’s learned from him how to handle pressure and stress and how to be consistent and driven by values and not by emotion. And that’s hard for all of us. We get emotional and things get, get heavy and we react to the emotion instead of really staying in the moment. So that idea came, I want to come back to that because couples that have learned how to accept influence from each other are the couples that are going to make it for the long haul. Uh, John Gottman, Dr. John Gottman and his wife have done research. And they can statistically say that couples who are not able to accept influence from each other are really doomed because it’s going to break down the fiber of the relationship because they’re each willing to say they may be right. That they can lead and learn how to follow on different issues in their relationship. Sure.
It’s like hitting a brick wall. If you can’t accept, influence from each other, you’re going to go nowhere.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think another idea that they shared with, uh, Amber and Denny shares, there’s no quid pro quo. It’s not, well you do for me, therefore I’ll do for you. They’re just both always looking of what things they can do to help love and give support to the other one. And a lot of people throw this phrase that, oh yeah, it’s 50 50. You got to meet halfway. It’s 50 50 me. But what, what really is that expression?
It really should be a hundred percent and 100% both way.
Oh yeah. And they were definitely 100, 100 to each other, I think. And that was, uh, great to see. So
Every interview, lots to learn from them. If you have not already listened to this PA, uh, podcast in its entirety, we hope that you’ll go on our website. And it was episode four, I believe,
Episode four with Amber and Denny LoCascio and they are a dynamic power kick couple who are doing it right in their relationship. They’ve made each other number one. And they’ve got lots of great examples and more stories in that episode for you all to listen to and hear how you can do that in your own number one relationship. So I think that’s about all we have for you today on this recap, sharing those pearls with you again, go back and check that interview out in its entirety. If you liked this interview or any other one, please like us, please share and let others know who might benefit from the work that we’re doing here on the kick-ass couples podcast. And until next time, remember that happily ever after does not just happen.
Until next time. Remember happily ever after it doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.